THE OMEN BY HP CHALLENGE 2018

ClientEA GAMES
Category A08. Leisure
TitleTHE OMEN BY HP CHALLENGE 2018
Product/ServiceOMEN - VIDEO GAME
Entrant EDELMAN London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation EDELMAN London, UNITED KINGDOM
PR EDELMAN London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production EDELMAN London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Daniel Douglas Edelman Creative
Paul Taylor Edelman Creative
Indy Selvarajah Edelman Creative Director
Kirsten Mackenzie Edelman Account Director
Myles Cameron Edelman Technical Director
James Herring Edelman Influencer Lead
Rhodri Morgan Edelman Influencer Executive
Steffan Martins Edelman Account Executive
Enfys Dickinson Edelman Production Lead

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The OMEN by HP Challenge 2018, leveraged credible third parties - eSports superstars and pro-gamers - and strategic creative thinking, to connect with target audiences and build the brand reputation of OMEN by HP in an extraordinary way. By completely re-imagining and then re-inventing the classic eSports tournament format, which had remained untouched for years, we were able to give OMEN by HP a striking presence at the most important gaming event of the year and influence brand perception, via onsite experience, social and earned media reach. The results were astonishing.

Background

Background: Esports is the fastest growing sport on the planet. Huge audiences gather for massive esports tournaments around the world. OMEN by HP (HP’s PC gaming brand) is a relative newcomer (>3 years). They want to be the no.1 PC gaming brand in esports by 2020. ‘The OMEN Challenge’ has been a part of HP’s brand experience and activation programme for three years, using the traditional eSports tournament format. Esport tournament formats are formulaic and expected. 100 players fight-to-the-death until there is a single victor. A points-based system over three days makes final scores predictable. Brief: Create a new tournament experience for OMEN Challenge 2018 to make an impact at Gamescom, in Cologne, Germany. They wanted to move away from gimmicky stunts used in previous years and increase credibility amongst programmers, influencers and eSports fans. Key metrics: Engagement Further growth of awareness and consideration of the OMEN brand.

Describe the creative idea

We developed a world-first tournament format which reinvented the game, providing new experiences for players and fans. Top gaming athletes partnered with top fans, through a social media recruitment campaign. We started player-pairs with a pot of cash to protect. They lost a % of that pot every time they were killed... and every-time they killed someone, they got their victim’s share. This mechanic changed the entire psychology of play. Being too successful made you a target. Players who were getting hammered could turn it all around in just one kill. Those playing a semi-conservative strategy could come away with the riches. ‘The Bounty’ – an extra cash incentive placed on the head of the winners from the previous round created further drama. No longer a zero-sum game, it became an uber-strategic spectacle of unexpected twists and turns, with players having to think in new ways.

Describe the strategy

Target Audience: Full gaming community, including pro-players, live tournament crowds and online viewers/fans. Strategy: Enable OMEN by HP to make a real statement and impact at Gamescom, but in a sustainable way, which would build long-term credibility with gamers. To achieve this, it was key to avoid gimmicks and create something that that would be authentic to the brand and have the depth to create true and lasting impact. We decided to develop a tournament format which would fundamentally change the way gamers played. Providing a revolutionary tournament format, would create massive buzz at Gamescom, mark OMEN by HP out from competitors in a unique way, build creditability with the target audience and provide a world-first experience for players and crowds. Strategically, we then leveraged HP’s streaming partner, Twitch, and their network of influencers and pro-gamers and utilized them help us achieve our brand awareness and engagement metrics.

Describe the execution

This revolutionary tournament format literally didn’t exist, so first we had to build the entire tournament programme algorithm from scratch. Twenty leading influencers recruited their play-partners through their social/PUBG channels. Recruitment videos were posted across OMEN and Twitch channels. At Gamescom, we hosted the influencers (player-partners offsite at home). Day 1 - Duos start with $5,000. For each kill on Day 1, teams took 25% of the eliminated team’s pot. Day 2 – 50% Day 3 – 75% $50k was allocated to ‘bounties’ and ‘shots-of-the-day’. The wealthiest team at the end of Day 3 was crowned ‘OMEN by HP Challenge Winner’ and took the winnings home. Tournament days were live-streamed on the OMEN by HP Twitch channel and broadcasted on the Twitch home page across EMEA. Highlights of the day were published on OMEN by HP social channels. Twitch vote mechanic was created

List the results

Livestream Results: 3.2 million live views (300% increase on the 2017 OMEN Challenge) Over 15 million minutes watched (350% increase on 2017) 3 million unique views (260% increase on 2017) 40,000 concurrent views at peak (150% increase on 2017) Social Results: 3.2 million post engagements (215% increase on 2017) 56 million hashtag impressions 40,000 click throughs to the OMEN by HP website Influencer Results: 4.2 million impressions from social content 150k social engagements 400k Twitch views Media Results: 70+ media from 13 markets Over 170 articles across EMEA 4.6m coverage Quotes: “The format is phenomenal, it is so creative, it’s one of the best tournaments I’ve ever done.’ – Cyanide, OMEN Challenge Player and UK Influencer